We were delighted to announce the three lucky winners of the #OurEUStory Awards at our very first in-person Access Europe Showcase in Croke Park, Dublin last week.
Irish civil society organisations from around the country entered the inaugural #OurEUStory Awards competition which celebrates the transformational impact that EU-funded projects have on communities throughout Ireland. Each entrant posted a video on social media telling the story of their very own EU funded project’s journey.
Minister of State for European Affairs Thomas Byrne TD was in attendance to congratulate the winners and deliver the keynote speech for the Showcase. Minister Byrne emphasized that Ireland has benefited hugely from the EU, but the EU has also benefited from Ireland, and civil society organisations have played a key role in this.
Check out the winning #OurEUStory Awards entries to learn just how impactful EU funded projects can be:
In addition to the #OurEUStory Award Ceremony, the Access Europe Showcase 2022 featured an expo of the Irish National Contact Points for various EU funding programmes. The NCPs shared information about their respective programmes and Showcase attendees took the opportunity to explore potential EU funding pathways for their organisations and network with both sector representatives and EU stakeholders.
The Showcase’s main stage event was expertly moderated by Chris MM Gordon of the Irish Social Enterprise Network. Ivan Cooper, Director of Public Policy at The Wheel, kicked off the proceedings by underlining the tremendous effect programmes such as Access Europe can have on influencing EU policy and demonstrating that Ireland is a key player in EU collaboration. Emma Murtagh, European Programmes Manager at The Wheel, then brought attendees on a journey back through 2022 by sharing Access Europe’s main achievements thus far - namely supporting EU project applications with a total value of over €35.5 million since the programme’s launch in November 2020.
Bringing some of our Access Europe success stories to life was our Showcase panel featuring Stephanie Brennan from Aran Islands Energy Cooperative, Cormac MacDonnell from Sport Ireland and Emma McKinley from Helium Arts. The panellists shared their expertise around applying for and managing EU funding including the do’s and don’ts, the pitfalls and the rewards.
All in all, it was an action-packed day full of learning and networking opportunities around EU funding and the opportunities it unlocks for civil society - watch the highlights in our video. We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this fantastic event happen and to all our enthusiastic attendees. See you at the Access Europe Showcase 2023!